4 Tips on Writing an Impactful Speech for the Public Sector
Have you been asked to prepare a speech for an upcoming event or for a colleague? We know this can be daunting, especially if it’s your first-time speechwriting.
The goal of a speech is to entertain while spreading concise information and persuading an audience to do or believe something – all in a limited amount of time.
Who Uses Speechwriting in the Public Sector?
Writing speeches in the public sector is a very effective and helpful skill to master. Whether you’re a civil servant, a politician’s assistant or an equality, diversity and inclusion officer, it’s likely speechwriting can crop up during your time in the public sector.
It’s important to note that every speech ever written has a different purpose - for example, a politician with a new policy proposal or the best man at a wedding - but the tools required to write a speech can be used across any topic.
4 Tips for Writing an Impactful Speech for the Public Sector
1. Be clear about the purpose
This doesn’t just apply to speech writing, but it can apply to any time you’re addressing a large audience or writing a presentation. You must know what the purpose of your speech is and why you’re doing it.
Ask yourself these three questions before starting your speech writing…
- What do you want the audience to learn or do?
- If you are making an argument, why do you want them to agree with you?
- If they already agree with you, why are you giving the speech?
Answering these questions will help you get a clear picture of what you want to get out of the speech and what you want your audience to get out of it. It can also help you discover a main goal for the speech which gives you something to work towards and aim for. This will keep your writing on track and means you have got these answers to come back to if you get stuck.
2. Your words will be spoken, not written
As you’re writing your speech, it’s important to read it out loud, not just in your head. This is because when reading to yourself, you might forget about your tone of voice, speed and all-around delivery. You should read your speech out loud as you write, this way you won’t finish your speech and end up with something that sounds completely different when read aloud.
Want more help presenting? Here are some of the most effective ways to open a presentation.
3. Keep things simple – not everyone will be an expert on the topic
To write a truly impactful speech, you need to target everyone in the room and not just the experts. If half the room doesn’t understand the message or information you’re trying to convey, it won’t be an impactful speech. Keep jargon at bay (unless you know all your audience will understand) and use a style of writing that everyone can follow – not just those that are in the know.
Understanding your audience and what they can benefit from listening will help you make your speech more appropriate to the occasion and those listening.
If you do lots of writing for the public sector, here are 10 quick ways you can improve.
4. Repetition and call to action
In addition to mastering the tone and point of the speech, repetition is also beneficiary; especially if you’re delivering a long speech, just to remind the audience of the points you have talked about. This is like a summary and can always lead to a new point or conclusion - seen as the most effective part of a speech.
When adding a call to action to the end of your speech, think about your speech and how it will affect the audience and their lives. You should finish a speech with a highlight or a jaw-dropping point, as this will give you the opportunity to be remembered and complimented.
Bonus Tip: Tell stories
Humans are naturally drawn to stories - the more relatable to that audience the better or you can get your audience to use their imagination. Speeches that use stories are more likely to have a retention rate of 65-75% over 25% if you just use visual cues. This means the more you immerse your audience into a story, the more of your speech they will remember and bring to life.
Got a Public Speech Coming up?
We've got you covered. Take a look at our Public Speaking courses and find out how you can improve your confidence and feel in control. View our upcoming Marketing & Communications training courses here.